Dressing for Success in the New Year
We may be entering a new year, and while we herald in changes such as new technologies and trends, some things remain constant year–to–year, and how you dress for success in the workplace is one of them. While today’s office environment is far more casual than years past, if you are looking to dress for success in the New Year, you will want to select a wardrobe that projects a serious and professional manner, and does not conflict in how you are perceived by your boss.
While many of us work in casual environments, one of the many mistakes those looking to advance their career make is that they under–dress. Even if your office favors jeans over pin stripes, do not take this as a sign that you should dress the same as you would on a weekend get–away. Appearances count and it is always best to be over–dressed than under–dressed. And if you are looking to make a good impression and are unsure of what to wear, the best rule of thumb is to dress conservatively. Keep it simple, neat and as button–up as possible. Casual attire does not mean presently a slovenly appearance.
If you are looking to advance in your job role, dress for the job you want – not the job you have. Being perceived as a candidate for advancement means you should look the part. Look to others in the job roles that you aspire to and mirror their style. Presenting a professional outward appearance can go a long way in helping position you as a serious contender for advancement.
Dress like your boss. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of your manager; however, following their lead is a fool–proof way to determine what’s appropriate for your workplace attire. While you are being judged by how you perform your work–duties, you are also being assessed for how you present yourself, and the way you dress can influence the perception others have of you at work.
Depending on your job, your work attire will need to be modeled after your job role. Even if you are relegated to wearing a uniform on a daily basis, you can still influence the impression you make by how you accessorize.
Being mindful of how you dress for work does not mean foregoing your personal style. It does mean that you should always follow a tried and true rule – perception is reality, and what you wear says a lot about you.
Follow these simple guidelines.
- Even if your office is casual it is always best not wear sneakers or flip–flops.
- For women, avoid visible underwear such as bra straps, shorts, jeans, skirts that are too short, low–rise, or unusually tight pants, and blouses that are either low–cut, or too short.
- Avoid excessive use of cologne or perfume regardless of how "good" you’d like to smell. Remember that scent is one of the strongest senses.
- Be aware of the company’s policies on tattoos and piercings as well; if neither is looked upon favorably, make it a point to cover up or take out your rings.